Equitable Growth awards more than $250,000 for new research on paid leave

Researchers will explore how paid leave affects engines of economic growth in the United States

Giovanni Rocco

WASHINGTON – The Washington Center for Equitable Growth today announced it will award $267,500 to four research teams exploring three core areas of paid leave policies in the United States: medical leave, caregiving leave, and employer responses to paid leave.

“We are proud to be funding four projects that will bring cutting-edge research to bear on ongoing debates around paid leave policy,” said Equitable Growth Director of Family and Economic Security Policy Alix Gould-Werth. “For decades, policymakers have posed questions about the effects of paid leave used to care for oneself or loved ones. This new research, which will use innovative research methods and novel data sources, also will provide much-needed answers to those questions and shed light on how employers interact with paid leave systems.”

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to upend the lives of workers and families, paid leave has come into focus as an indispensable factor in slowing the spread of the virus, keeping families and communities safe, and reopening the U.S. economy.

“Paid leave is key to building an economy where growth is strong and stable, and one where growth is broadly shared up and down the income ladder,” said Equitable Growth President and CEO Heather Boushey. “These projects will advance our understanding of how, as a nation, we can build economic resilience and achieve more equitable growth.”

Since its founding in 2013, Equitable Growth has awarded more than $5 million to more than 200 cross-disciplinary scholars. In 2019, more than $200,000 was awarded to examine the effects of state-level paid family and medical leave policies on labor market participation and drug-related outcomes.  

Full descriptions of the four paid leave research projects, including biographies of the grantees, are available here. Later this year Equitable Growth will announce the awardees of its 2020 cross-disciplinary grants program.


The Washington Center for Equitable Growth is a nonprofit research and grantmaking organization dedicated to advancing evidence-backed ideas and policies that promote strong, stable, and broad-based economic growth. For more information, see www.equitablegrowth.org and follow us on Twitter and Facebook @equitablegrowth.

July 22, 2020


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